Downtown Eugene

Friday, May 18, 2007

West Broadway has only four small problems

West Broadway has only four problems. They are simple problems, with simple solutions, much less expensive than proposals on the table to destroy existing businesses and schools on the street.

1. Center Court: This building is completely empty. Beam has made a proposal to fill it, in cooperation with KWG. That makes sense. (Note that including the full Washburne building in this project makes NO sense).

2. Aster Hole: Beam also has a proposal to build something on this lot, and fill it. Sounds good.

3. Sear's lake: KWG has proposed to build housing here, and on some of the adjacent parking lot. That makes sense. Tearing down buildings that are mostly full, makes NO sense.

4. The Northside Vacuum (former Symantec-occupied storefronts): If the City offered subsidies to move in here, probably as little as a year's rent, people would jump all over the opportunity.

That's it. Note that, in the current process, if these small problems were solved, West Broadway would be revived. But if there is more ambition, including the destruction of other people's work, and insane judgments about what is "good business" vs. "undesirable business", more subsidies, more initiatives, more rancor, more lawsuits ... nothing at all will happen! At worst, there will be destruction AND nothing will result.

Stick to the small stuff. Make the little projects work, and don't try to fix the parts that ain't broken.


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